SUPERSEDED Notice to Profession – East Region

IMPORTANT NOTICE

This notice has been superseded. Please refer to:  http://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/notices-and-orders-covid-19/#REGIONAL_NOTICES for current information.

April 2, 2020

Effective March 17, 2020 due to the public health emergency resulting from COVID 19, regular operations in the Superior Court of Justice have been suspended. Province-wide information as well as the orders and directions of the Chief Justice are available on the Ontario Courts website: www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/

To ensure access to justice during the suspension, the court adopted a series of measures so that urgent matters can be dealt with electronically. Each judicial centre has specific e-mail addresses for criminal, family and civil matters and each location has specific protocols in place which should be consulted and followed for matters at that court location.

Effective April 6, 2020, in an effort to meet its constitutional responsibilities without endangering the health of those who use or work in the court, the court will offer additional services through virtual courts. Of necessity, this may involve untested and novel processes which may depend upon the type of case and the availability of resources in each judicial centre.

It is important that lawyers, litigants and other justice system participants act in good faith and cooperate with each other and with the court to ensure that electronic hearings are focused and fair and can be completed in a timely fashion. In addition to the directives established at the provincial, regional and local level, the presiding judicial officer may give further direction.

The East Region of the Superior Court includes ten judicial districts serviced by courts in Ottawa, Kingston, Napanee, Belleville, Picton, Brockville, Cornwall, L’Orignal, Perth and Pembroke. Each of those courts has put in place specific measures to address and triage urgent matters. There are notices in each centre setting out the current protocol relating to urgent criminal, family and civil matters.

In Ottawa there are also specific procedures in place to deal with bankruptcy matters and matters under the Construction Act.

Those measures will remain in place. Please note that all urgent requests for hearings are to include an e-mail (maximum 2 pages) stating the relief requested and why it is urgent.

As noted, there will be additional services available as of April 6, 2020. These are primarily focused and succinct matters aimed at dispute resolution, routine matters that can be disposed of in writing and certain types of motions or applications where delay may cause hardship.

Divisional Court matters are dealt with in a separate notice on the court website and requests for service should be directed to the email address set out in that notice.

The objective of the expanded virtual court is to provide targeted justice services during the time when physical attendance at court is not available.

All requests for such services will be reviewed and assigned priority based on availability of court resources and the utility of allocating those resources to the particular matter. Of necessity, this will be a work in progress.

It is very important that litigants and counsel not overload the generic e-mail accounts and use them responsibly for the purposes identified. You must ensure that the “Re: line” identifies the nature of the communication along with the court file number. Material filed must be succinct and focused. Further direction may be given when the event is scheduled.

The presiding judicial officer will not likely have access to the court file.

The expanded services will include the following subject to further direction from the Local Administrative Judge and to the exercise of discretion.

CRIMINAL

  1. Bail, Bail Reviews and Detention reviews as set out in the province wide notice and such other matters as can be accommodated.
  2. Judicial Pre-Trials

Judicial pre-trials (JPTs) for both in-custody and out-of-custody cases. Priority will be given to:

  1. Matters adjourned since March 16, 2020.
  2. Those that can resolve the case.
  3. Those that can substantially narrow the issues in the case.

Note – JPTs will not be scheduled until all sides have filed their completed PTRC and all counsel have certified to the trial co-ordinator they are fully informed and in a position to discuss all areas of the prosecution. The forms and the certification are to be e-mailed directly to the trial co-ordinators at the appropriate location.

  1. Guilty Pleas

Guilty pleas and sentencing hearings for in-custody cases. Guilty pleas for out-of-custody cases where there are joint submissions for non-custodial sentences. Contact to be made as above with the trial co-ordinators.

  1. Habeas Corpus Applications

FAMILY

  1. 14B Consent Motions.
  2. 14B motions for procedural issues and disclosure.
  3. Case Conferences for no more than the two (2) most pressing issues.
  4. Selected Settlement Conferences if it appears that resolution is probable, the issues are focused and the conference can be accommodated.

Conference requests and briefs and motion materials are to be e-mailed directly to the virtual family counter. Briefs will be limited to six (6) pages and the conference length will normally be limited to 30 minutes.

CIVIL

  1. Pre-Trial Conferences for Settlement Purposes Only – For civil trials or pre-trial conferences that were cancelled in March or April 2020, parties may file a request for a pre-trial conference and a focused succinct pre-trial conference brief. The parties must:
  1. Provide a teleconference or video conference line for the pre-trial conference (where parties are represented by counsel);
  2. Certify that:
    1. the case is ready for settlement discussions;
    2. there are no impediments to a full discussion of resolution such as outstanding expert reports or productions, and
    3. the parties will attend with full authority to settle;
  3. Limit the pre-trial conference brief to ten (10) pages or fewer in length (no trial management sections are to be included); and
  4. Provide hyperlinks in the pre-trial conference brief to expert reports, case law, and any other pertinent documents.

Requests for pre-trial conferences and pre-trial conference briefs in Ottawa must be e-mailed to the case management co-ordinator and in other centres to the trial co-ordinator at the e-mail address set out below.

No trial management discussions will take place during the pre-trial conferences at this time.

As of April 27, 2020, parties may request pre-trial conferences for civil trials and pre-trial conferences that were cancelled in May 2020.

  1. In-writing motions or applications under Rule 7 of the Rules of Civil Procedure (parties under disability).
  2. In-writing consent motions.
  3. Case conferences in appropriate cases including cases already under case management and Class Proceedings.

In-writing motions and applications listed in paragraphs 2 and 3 above must be e-mailed to the virtual civil counter at the generic email address for the particular court.

We thank all counsel, parties and justice system participants for their patience and understanding during this extraordinary public health emergency.

Calum U.C. MacLeod,
Regional Senior Justice, East Region
Ontario Superior Court of Justice

The contact information for each court is set out below:

OTTAWA MATTERS
OTTAWA – URGENT MATTERS – as of March 17, 2020
Urgent criminal, family, child protection, civil, Divisional Court – to trial coordination OttawaSCJ.TC.Office@ontario.ca
Urgent Master’s Matters – to masters’ office Mastersofficeottawa@ontario.ca
Urgent Bankruptcy – to bankruptcy office Ottawa.SCJBankruptcy@ontario.ca
OTTAWA – LIMITED NON URGENT MATTERS as of April 6th, 2020
OTTAWA criminal – requests for JPT, guilty pleas, other requests –
To trial coordination
OttawaSCJ.TC.Office@ontario.ca
OTTAWAcivil – requests for focused pre-trials or case conferences
To case management coordinator
Mastersofficeottawa@ontario.ca
OTTAWA – Construction liens – see new procedures for electronic filing –
To case management coordinator
OTTAWA – civil – Rule 7 approvals – other motions in writing . –
To virtual civil counter
Ottawa.SCJ.courts@ontario.ca
OTTAWA – Family – 14b motions – requests for case conferences – requests for settlement conference – see directions
To virtual family counter
ottawafamilycourt@ontario.ca
KINGSTON MATTERS (County of Frontenac)
KINGSTON – URGENT MATTERS – as of March 17, 2020
Urgent criminal, family, child protection, civil, – to trial coordination Kingston.SCJ.Courts@ontario.ca
KINGSTON – LIMITED NON URGENT MATTERS as of April 6th, 2020
KINGSTON criminal – requests for JPT, guilty pleas, other requests –
To trial coordination
Kingston.SCJ.Courts@ontario.ca
KINGSTON civil – requests for pre-trials or case conferences –
To trial coordination
KINGSTON – civil – Rule 7 approvals – other motions in writing . –
To virtual civil counter
KINGSTON – Family – 14b motions – requests for case conferences – requests for settlement conference –
To virtual family counter
KingstonFamilyCourt@ontario.ca
NAPANEE MATTERS (County of Lennox & Addington)
NAPANEE – URGENT MATTERS – as of March 17, 2020
Urgent criminal, family, child protection, civil, – to trial coordination Napanee.SCJ.Courts@ontario.ca
NAPANEE – LIMITED NON URGENT MATTERS as of April 6th, 2020
NAPANEE criminal – requests for JPT, guilty pleas, other requests – see direction To trial coordination Napanee.SCJ.Courts@ontario.ca
NAPANEE– civil – requests for pre-trials or case conferences – see direction
To trial coordinator
NAPANEE – civil – Rule 7 approvals – other motions in writing . – see directions
To virtual civil counter
NAPANEE – Family – 14b motions – requests for case conferences – requests for settlement conference – see directions
To virtual family counter
BELLEVILLE & PICTON MATTERS
(Counties of Hastings & Prince Edward)
BELLEVILLE & PICTON – URGENT MATTERS – as of March 17, 2020
Urgent criminal, family, child protection, civil, – to trial coordination PSRHastingsPEC@ontario.ca
BELLEVILLE & PICTON – LIMITED NON URGENT MATTERS
as of April 6th, 2020
BELLEVILLE & PICTONcriminal – requests for JPT, guilty pleas, other requests – To trial coordination PSRHastingsPEC@ontario.ca
BELLEVILLE & PICTONcivil – requests for pre-trials or case conferences –To trial coordinator
BELLEVILLE & PICTON– civil – Rule 7 approvals – other motions in writing . –
To virtual civil counter
Belleville.SCJ.courts@ontario.ca
BELLEVILLE & PICTON– Family – 14b motions – requests for case conferences – requests for settlement conference –
To virtual counter
BROCKVILLE MATTERS
(United Counties of Leeds and Grenville)
BROCKVILLE– URGENT MATTERS – as of March 17, 2020
Urgent criminal, family, child protection, civil, – to trial coordination SCJBrockvilleTC@ontario.ca
BROCKVILLE – LIMITED NON URGENT MATTERS as of April 6th, 2020
BROCKVILLE criminal – requests for JPT, guilty pleas, other requests –
To trial coordination
SCJBrockvilleTC@ontario.ca
BROCKVILLEcivil – requests for pre-trials or case conferences –
To trial coordinator
BROCKVILLE– civil – Rule 7 approvals – other motions in writing . –
To virtual civil counter
Brockville.SCJ.courts@ontario.ca
BROCKVILLE – Family – 14b motions – requests for case conferences – requests for settlement conference –
To virtual family counter
PERTH MATTERS (County of Lanark)
PERTH– URGENT MATTERS – as of March 17, 2020
Urgent criminal, family, child protection, civil, – to trial coordination Perth.Courthouse@ontario.ca
PERTH – LIMITED NON URGENT MATTERS as of April 6th, 2020
PERTH criminal – requests for JPT, guilty pleas, other requests –
To trial coordination
Perth.Courthouse@ontario.ca
PERTHcivil – requests for pre-trials or case conferences –
To trial coordinator
PERTH– civil – Rule 7 approvals – other motions in writing . –
To virtual civil counter
Perth.SCJ.courts@ontario.ca
PERTH – Family – 14b motions – requests for case conferences – requests for settlement conference –
To virtual family counter
CORNWALL MATTERS
(United Counties of Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry)
CORNWALL– URGENT MATTERS – as of March 17, 2020
Urgent criminal, family, child protection, civil, – to trial coordination Cornwallscjtrialcoordination@ontario.ca
CORNWALL – LIMITED NON URGENT MATTERS as of April 6th, 2020
CORNWALL criminal – requests for JPT, guilty pleas, other requests
To trial coordination
Cornwallscjtrialcoordination@ontario.ca
CORNWALLcivil – requests for pre-trials or case conferences
To trial coordination
CORNWALL– civil – Rule 7 approvals – other motions in writing . –
To virtual civil counter
Cornwall.SCJ.courts@ontario.ca
CORNWALL – Family – 14b motions – requests for case conferences – requests for settlement conference –
To virtual family counter
L’ORIGNAL MATTERS
(United Counties of Prescott & Russell)
L’ORIGNAL– URGENT MATTERS – as of March 17, 2020
Urgent criminal, family, child protection, civil, – to trial coordination LorignalTrialCoordination@ontario.ca
L’ORIGNAL – LIMITED NON URGENT MATTERS as of April 6th, 2020
L’ORIGNAL criminal – requests for JPT, guilty pleas, other requests –
To trial coordination
LorignalTrialCoordination@ontario.ca
L’ORIGNALcivil – requests for pre-trials or case conferences –
To trial coordination
L’ORIGNAL– civil – Rule 7 approvals – other motions in writing . –
To virtual civil counter
Lorignal.SCJ.courts@ontario.ca
L’ORIGNAL – Family – 14b motions – requests for case conferences – requests for settlement conference –
To virtual family counter
PEMBROKE MATTERS (County of Renfrew)
PEMBROKE– URGENT MATTERS – as of March 17, 2020
Urgent criminal, family, child protection, civil, – to trial coordination PembrokeSCJTrialScheduling@ontario.ca;
PEMBROKE – LIMITED NON URGENT MATTERS as of April 6th, 2020
PEMBROKE criminal – requests for JPT, guilty pleas, other requests –
To trial coordination
PembrokeSCJTrialScheduling@ontario.ca
PEMBROKEcivil – requests for pre-trials or case conferences –
To trial coordination
PEMBROKE– civil – Rule 7 approvals – other motions in writing . –
To virtual civil counter
Pembroke.SCJ.courts@ontario.ca
PEMBROKE – Family – 14b motions – requests for case conferences – requests for settlement conference –
To virtual family counter